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Minister Dr Cerar attends Foreign Affairs Council meeting

Minister Dr Miro Cerar attended the Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) meeting in Brussels on Iran, Iraq, the Central African Republic and external aspects of migration. The ministers had an informal lunch with Moldovan Minister of Foreign Affairs Nicu Popescu.

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Minister Dr Cerar and Nicu Popescu, Moldovan Minister of Foreign Affairs and EU Integration | Author Svet EU

In the discussion about Iran, the ministers exchanged views regarding the current situation in Iran and the region and, as had been anticipated, the discussion focused on Iran’s gradual reduction of some commitments to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and on tensions in the Persian Gulf. They emphasised the need to preserve the JCPOA and called upon Iran to respect the commitments of the deal. The ministers also pointed out that compliance issues must be addressed within the framework of the JCPOA and that all disputes must be settled with mechanisms stipulated in the deal.

Regarding the situation in the Persian Gulf, all the sides called for deescalating the conflict and emphasised the importance of free shipping. Minister Cerar expressed concern about Iran’s announcement to reduce its implementation of certain aspects of the Iran nuclear deal, and emphasised the need for total compliance with the agreement, which was confirmed by UN Security Council Resolution 2231. He called on all sides to refrain from any actions that could additionally jeopardise the security situation. In addition, he condemned the attacks on tankers and obstruction to navigation for commercial vessels in the Persian Gulf.

Concerning Iraq, the Council welcomed the formation of the new federal government and called on Iraq to ensure continued progress in key fields, such as security, democracy and public services. The ministers also welcomed the progress concerning the formation of the Kurdistan Regional Government and the improved relations between Baghdad and Erbil.

The Council expressed concern about the deterioration of the security and humanitarian situation in the Central African Republic, which is preventing the peace process from moving forward and thus has a negative impact on the entire region. The ministers underlined the need for continuing the comprehensive EU approach to the Central African Republic, which includes political, security, humanitarian and development aspects as well as any activities that stimulate dialogue among all the country’s key actors and institutions.

In the discussion about the external aspects of migration, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini reported on EU activities regarding cooperation with third countries, both of origin and transit, and with international organisations, and on the security conditions that affect migration. The Council underlined the need to ensure efficient management of migration towards Europe and to resolve the difficult security and humanitarian situations in Libya, Syria and the Sahel. Minister Cerar emphasised the importance of a comprehensive approach to migration and to all the related challenges, which includes enhanced cooperation with third countries; Slovenia will continue to support and cooperate with the Western Balkan countries.

At the informal lunch with Moldovan Foreign Minister Nicu Popescu, the ministers welcomed Moldova's political and economic progress on the path towards the EU. The Council emphasised the need for Moldova’s further engagement in implementing reforms and the importance of consolidating democratic institutions, respect for the rule of law and the fight against corruption.

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